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Naturally in Niagara

Soul Serving Winter Wines – Bring it on November!

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November Wines

Last month we introduced you to some decadent turkey wines, and while our neighbours to the south are gearing up for their Thanksgiving, we thought it was time to pair with some winter classics! Enter the big, bold reds!

In Niagara we do have a wide variety of big, bad, red wines, despite the popular wisdom that we do not. If you are a non-believer, I’m here to tell you that you have simply been sipping the wrong wines! When you cruise Niagara wine country from Beamsville straight through to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you will find a number of beautiful red wines that I would be happy to have gracing my glass any day! So, a tour of the region awaits you below, we will start at the top and work our way down!


2010 Fireside Red
Fielding Estate Winery

Merlot is a wine that is round and full and sings sweet melodies of plum, dark cherry and when blended is the ideal companion for its partners in crime! Aged in oak for more than a year, this wine has had time to mellow and develop into something spectacular. On the palate, enjoy those deep, red fruit flavours alongside a java style flavour component that is rounded out with the rich vanilla from the barrel treatment. Beyond the first sip, the finish is long and strong!



2009 Cabernet Franc
Calamus Estate Winery

This Cabernet Franc is a lovely example of the Niagara potential when it comes to a good Bordeaux red in the bottle. Bright flavours of blackberry are complimented by a floral nose and an earthiness that reveals a hint of dried herbs. Nice and tangy on the palate, this wine is a super-pleaser with a nice peppery note to keep your senses tingling!



Canada Red
Konzelmann Estate Winery

This is a unique wine, full of rich flavours, and an interesting bottle to give a try if you’ve never before had Zweigelt. That’s right – an Australian varietal that isn’t commonly grown in Niagara, but a delicious endeavor if you’re up for it! This wine has a bright floral nose with rose petals aplenty that hits the glass with a splash of raspberry and pepper that will make your mouth water for the next sip! With a nice structure, this wine shows off its acid backbone with a pucker in the sides of your cheeks and finishes dry… a heavy weight in pairing potential!



Stop the Mega Quarry, 2011 Red
Ravine Vineyard

As the team at Ravine say “put a protest on your table” with this bottle that is standing up in the fight to stop the mega quarry. This wine celebrates the Canadian Chefs’ Congress’ fight to stop the Highland companies’ proposed Mega Quarry in the Melancthon township of Ontario. This bottle represents the commitment of Ravine – a winery that lives the farm to table sensibility in their restaurant, celebrated as one of Niagara’s best – to save the land that feeds us and the water that supports life on earth. In fact, $2.00 from each bottle purchased will go towards the fight against the mega quarry and its impact on the already limited farmlands of Ontario.

Beyond the political activism the bottle represents, it’s a dynamo on the delicious scale and deserves some attention for its palate-pleasing properties as well! Deep and delicious, this bottle deserves a space on your table, alongside the bounty of Ontario that it is working to protect!

The Author

Allie Hughes is the wine and culinary contributor to Naturally in Niagara, feasting on the decadent experience that is life in this region. With a fine wine sensibility honed at the International Sommelier Guild, Allie is taking the journey of Niagara by the glass with you with each new taste. Allie is also the creative mind behind the marketing of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and owner of Hughes & Co., a boutique social strategy firm.

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